Film Screening of “Lives Well Lived” on Thursday, 5/19 at the Sawyer Free Library

In collaboration with the Gloucester Senior Center, Sawyer Free Library is hosting a screening of the award winning documentary “Lives Well Lived” on Thursday, May 19 at 6:00 p.m. This event is part of a series of events being held in celebration of Older Americans Month.

In our society, the elderly are often overlooked. Lives Well Lived celebrates the incredible wit, wisdom, and life experiences of older adults living full and meaningful lives in their later years. Their stories are about perseverance, the human spirit, and staying positive during the great personal and historic challenges.

The stories told in this film will inspire people of every age to achieve the longevity of both health and spirit, and to realize that growing older can be a journey to be celebrated.

Screening to take place in the Friends Room of the Sawyer Free Library located at 2 Dale Avenue. No reservation required. For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5500.

SFL’s “Books on Tap” with local author Billy Baker at Minglewood this Thursday night!

The Sawyer Free Library is kicking off a new author series, Books on Tap, a night of books, bites, and brew, with award-winning local writer BILLY BAKER on Thursday, May 12 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Minglewood Harborside in Gloucester.  

This first of many fun and engaging evenings of conversations with local authors, sponsored by the Library, is free and open to the public. Appetizers will be provided for attendees, and drinks and food will be available for purchase.   

Thursday, May 12 from 6-8pm at Minglewood

Boston Globe writer Billy Baker is the author of the hilarious, moving memoir We Need to Hang Out: A Memoir of Making Friends, which the New York Times called: “An entertaining mix of social science, memoir, and humor…” Joining Baker for the event will be his friend Kevin Phoenix, owner of Community Fitness Cape Ann. The two will discuss Billy’s book, what it’s like trying to balance work and family life, and the importance of friendship as we age.  The audience will be encouraged to join in on the spirited conversation.

Billy Baker is a staff writer for The Boston Globe, where he writes narrative features and humorous columns. A native of South Boston, he is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Tulane University, and the Columbia Journalism School. Baker has received the Deborah Howell Award for Writing Excellence from the American Society of News Editors and was a member of the Globe team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. Billy resides on Cape Ann in Essex with his family. 

Sawyer Free Library’s first “Books and Tap” will be held in the event room at Minglewood Harborside, located at 25 Rogers Street in Gloucester. Registration not required. For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5553.

Glo Con’ 22: What Day at the Sawyer Free Library!

The Sawyer Free Library wants to thank the community for helping to make GloCon’22 a HUGE SUCCESS! Fun was had by all! From overflowing workshops with local comic artist Mark Parisi, Art Haven, Graphic Novelists Leela Corman and Cathy J. Johnson to scavenger hunting for Pokemon and playing Mario Kart on the big screen to the exciting appearance of all things Star Wars and so much more – it was a day to remember!

Glo Con ’22 was an all-ages, all day event celebrating comics and graphic novels as art, literature and pop culture, and showcasing the library’s graphic novel and comic book collections.

Everyone should stay tuned as we can’t wait to do it again next year! Until then, be sure to visit, sawyfreelibrary.com to learn more about all the great programming and events taking place at the Library each and every week!

Cat in the Hat (Library Director Jenny Benedict) and Captain Picard (Mayor Greg Verga) at GloCon!
Star Wars Galore at Sawyer Free Library with a visit from 501st Legion! Even baby Yoda made the trip!

Not to miss GloCon’22 Workshops – this Saturday at the Sawyer Free Library!

Come check out Sawyer Free Library‘s first annual comic con event, Glo Con on Saturday, April 30 from 10am – 3pm! We’ve got artists, authors, crafts, workshops, cosplayers, snacks, a photo booth, MarioKart on the big screen, and other superhero/comics/graphic novel activities all fun for the whole family!  Visit: SawyerFreeLibrary.org for all the details!

Be sure to sign up ahead of time for these cool workshops:

10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Make Your Own Comics! Come have fun while drawing your own comics! In this workshop, students will play silly drawing games, generate ideas for their own characters, and start to write their own comic book stories. All levels of experience are welcome! The workshop is run by Cathy G. Johnson, Providence-based writer and artist of the graphic novel The Breakaways. REGISTER HERE.

10:30 a.m. – Storytime: We Dig Worms – Young children and their families can enjoy a fun science-filled story time with author and illustrator Kevin McCloskey. No registration needed.

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Cartooning Workshop with Mark Parisi Recommended for grades 2-7, but all ages will enjoy this fun event with Marty Pants author Mark Parisi. There will be lots of funny cartoons, live drawing, writing and drawing tips and an author Q & A.

Mark is a Gloucester native and the cartoonist behind the comic panel Off the Mark, which is syndicated nationally and appears in The Gloucester Times. He has also authored and illustrated humorous middle-grade books. Mark will be signing books after his presentation.  No Registration Needed.

1:00-3:00 p.m. LightSaber Training – Dabble in the Dark Side or learn how to fight it with the 501st Legion! No Registration Needed.

2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Your Story Matters – Explore storytelling through writing and drawing exercises with Leela Corman, the Providence-based, award-winning artist, cartoonist, and author of the graphic novel Unterzakhn. This program is best for teens and adults.  REGISTER HERE

And that is just the start! From MarioKart, oversized Mad Libs, and a Pokemon Scavenger Hunt to cool crafts, fantastical prizes, graphic novels, and comic books, it will be a day filled with fun activities for all ages to discover.

The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. All Glo Con 2022 presentations and activities are free and open to the public. To register or for more event information, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5500.  


GLO CON 22!! Are you ready? 10 days and counting until the fun starts!

GLO CON ’22 Saturday April 30th at Sawyer Free Library

Sawyer Free Library’s first ever Comic-Con, a free family friendly celebration

of comics, pop culture, creativity and fun, will be on Saturday, April 30th

from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester, MA. 

It is a free and open to all ages! 

Photo ops with characters? Check! Workshops with comic book authors and artists? Check! Fandom games and activities? Check! Fantastical story time and crafts for the kids? Of course!

Don’t miss this celebration of all things comics and pop culture.  

Costumes not required but encouraged! 

Register today for the many great workshops or just come by and enjoy the fun!

For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Librarians are ready for Glo Con 22′
Register HERE for Workshops!

Cape Ann Symphony: Katy and the Big Snow at the Sawyer Free Library

The Sawyer Free Library is pleased to present a musical morning for children & families on Thursday, April 21 at 10:30am! The Cape Ann Symphony will presents the musical story of Katy and the Big Snow on the Main Floor of the library.

Come and hear the magic of the music with the storytelling of actress Heidi Dallin as they present the story by Virginia Lee Burton: Katy and the Big Snow! Learn about all the instruments and get a close up look at them!

For more information visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5551.

Celebrating Wellspring’s 40 Years of Supporting Families with “Voices of Belonging, Immigration Stories in Light & Sound” public art event

Artist Stephanie Benenson’s Harbor Voices Public Art creates immersive family-friendly sound and light experience: May 6 & 7

For 40 years, Wellspring has supported hundreds of families from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life achieve employment and financial security through stable housing, education, job training and career readiness. To mark its four-decade anniversary, the Cape Ann-based nonprofit organization is hosting “Voices of Belonging: Immigration Stories in Light & Sound” to bring the stories and sentiments of immigrant families alive with music, spoken word, and laser lighting for a captivating, participatory immersive experience.

Inspired by collective storytelling and powerful personal histories, Stephanie Terelak Benenson, a sound, light, and social impact artist, founded Harbor Voices Public Art  Art in 2017. Her laser and sound installations feature more than 100 global stories of recent and ancestral immigrants to Cape Ann, ages 6 to 86, as choreographed lasers immerse you in a multilingual sound & light public art experience. 

The works celebrate empathy, cultural identity, diversity, inclusivity, and resilience from the past to the present. The stories and experience then become a vehicle for social change. Her installations have been shared in Lynn, Worcester, Boston, Gloucester, Salem, and New York City.

The “Voices of Belonging” Friday Night Opening Party will be May 6 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased online. On Saturday, May 7, “Voices of Belonging” will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to the community at no charge for the family-friendly, all-are-welcome event. Free, timed tickets are strongly encouraged but walkups will be accommodated.

Floral Arrangements Paired with Artwork, on Display at Cape Ann Museum

Cape Ann Blossoms brings together 20 floral designers to create arrangements that are paired with artworks, on view Sat. May 14 & Sun. May 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To celebrate the beginning of spring, 20 North Shore and Cape Ann floral designers will create eye-catching, beautiful arrangements that will be paired with art works around Cape Ann Museum as part of the popular Cape Ann Blossoms event on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cape Ann Blossoms will open with a ticketed Gala preview party on Friday, May 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The party will include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a chance to have the first view of the inspired floral compositions located throughout the Museum. Tickets are available online at capeannblossomspreviewparty.eventbrite.com. Free guided tours will be offered on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Museum admission. Space is limited and is first-come, first-served.

The show also dovetails with Judi Rotenberg’s exhibition at the Museum, featuring large-scale paintings, many of them colorful, grand floral designs. Among the artists in the Museum collection who will be paired with local floral designers are: Walker Hancock, Virginia Lee Burton, Umberto Romano, John Sloan, Frank Stella, Fitz Henry Lane, and others.

Among the designers and garden clubs participating will be: All Purpose Flowers, Audrey’s Flower Shop, Backyard Growers, Cape Ann Garden Club, Celia’s Flower Studio, Danvers Garden Club, Generous Gardeners, Glass Onion Floral Design, Ipswich Garden Club, Maia Mattson, Manchester Garden Club, Melon Rose, Meredith McCarthy Floral Design and Event Styling, Rockport Garden Club, Sage Floral Studio, Two Finches, and Vidalia’s, Leslie Pope & Mary Ethel Stuck, and Rumphius Flowers.

Tickets for the Cape Ann Museum can be purchased here: https://www.capeannmuseum.org/visit/hours-and-admission/

Vibrant contemporary work by Judi Rotenberg, well-known Cape Ann painter and gallery owner

Large-scape paintings on view: April 30 to July 3, 2022

In time for spring, the Cape Ann Museum will proudly host an exhibit of the vibrant, large scale works of Judi Rotenberg. Life-long Rockport summer resident and highly-respected gallery owner, Rotenberg has spent 40 years creating vivid, colorful floral still life paintings that capture the fragility and strength of life. Her works will be on view from April 30 to July 3 at the Museum at 27 Pleasant St., in Gloucester.

Working primarily in acrylic, Rotenberg’s recent paintings are unabashedly beautiful, alive with color and motion.  Each composition is vibrant and fresh and represents a new challenge for her. Her canvases are rich in detail, from the foreground and the table on which a vase and bouquet sit, through the center of the canvas with its explosion of blossoms, to the top of the composition where she often includes the view across her studio or out over Rockport Harbor.     

The tradition of women artists working on Cape Ann is a strong one and through her work Rotenberg has earned a place among the most accomplished of them.  Although long overshadowed by their male counterparts, women have consistently made important contributions in the field and continue to today. Many women painters have focused on still lifes, perhaps most notably Nell Blaine, but none have endowed their work with the color and power that Rotenberg has.

In connection with this special exhibition, the Cape Ann Museum is pleased to be presenting an encore of its 2019 program, Cape Ann Blossoms, May 14 and 15. Gallery talks are also planned and information on them can be found at www.capeannmuseum.org.

Tickets for the Cape Ann Museum can be purchased here: https://www.capeannmuseum.org/visit/hours-and-admission/

Sculpting Self: Student Sculptures Paired with Works by Walker Hancock

A unique Cape Ann Museum exhibit: Youths learned about renowned sculptor and created own renditions, on view April 16 to June 12, 2022

Sculpting Self is an inventive program that had eighth graders learning about the renowned work of Cape Ann sculptor Walker Hancock (1901-1998) while creating their own sculptures for an exhibit that will pair the student and master works together. They will be on view at the Museum, 27 Pleasant St., in Gloucester from April 16 to June 12, 2022.

The program was inspired by Hancock’s Basketball Series. Over 15 years from 1961 to 1977, the sculptor made sculptures inspired by watching the Gloucester High School varsity basketball team practice.

During the 2021-2022 school year, Cape Ann Museum Education Manager Miranda Aisling visited three area schools with classes of eighth graders twice to talk about Hancock’s work and to teach the students how to create their own wire armature and then cover it in clay. Each student was asked to portray themselves doing their favorite activity from reading to dancing to listening to music to playing video games. The sculptures capture the interest of eighth graders from Manchester-Essex Middle School, Rockport Middle School, and Gloucester’s O’Maley Middle School.

Beginning in 2020-2021, the Museum sought to bring together community members across Cape Ann for its annual Community Art Exhibition. The unique initiative provides an opportunity to celebrate student artwork alongside the Museum’s collection, creating a juxtaposition of emerging and established artists’ works. Last year, the exhibition was Quilted Together, featuring more than 637 self-portraits drawn by area residents of all ages during the pandemic.

In connection with Sculpting Self, the Cape Ann Museum will be free for families during April Vacation Week and will give a Free Family Tour on the Sculptors of Cape Ann on Saturday, May 28. The exhibition opening will take place on Saturday, April 23 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm. Meg Black, PhD will be presenting CAMTalks: Behind Walker Hancock’s sculptures, The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane on Saturday, May 21.

Tickets for the Cape Ann Museum exhibits can be purchased here: https://www.capeannmuseum.org/visit/hours-and-admission/